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Music for a Marginalized Population

CEA, RIAA, US Against Alzheimer’s sponsor film screening

Last night I attended a screening of the documentary “Alive Inside,” sponsored by the CEA, Recording Industry Association of Americaand US Against Alzheimer’s.

Well, I’m not sure that attended is quite the right word. I didn’t just watch the film; I experienced it. I know that sounds dramatic, but I think others who viewed the Sundance Audience Award winner would agree with me.

The documentary follows Dan Cohen, the founder and executive director of Music & Memory, on his quest to use personalized music playlists to positively impact an aging population and those affected by dementia. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennet chronicled his efforts for three years, along the way also showing intimate details of the lives of those his project has affected with the simple act of a curating a playlist and donating an iPod.

The event was held at the E Street Cinema in Washington.

The attendees were a mix of local tech entrepreneurs and those responsible for caring and advocating for those affected by dementia, including CEA CEO Gary Shapiro, whose own family has encountered by Alzheimer’s and who was the impetus for bringing the screening to the capital.

After the film was shown, Rossato-Bennet, Cohen and producer Alexandra McDougald were on-hand for a question and answer session. The response was positive and action-oriented, with an emphasis on practical issues of music licensing (don’t worry, they play by the rules), volunteer involvement and the organization’s long-term goals.

The documentary will be available on DVD before the holiday season.